Peak 6,420m, North-Northeast Ridge
Nepal, Mahalangur Himal – Khumbu Section
Jorge Martinez and I flew to Lukla and then, using no porters, carried all our gear to Pangboche over two days. From there we went up the Mingbo Valley (Nare Glacier on the HMG-Finn map), south of Ama Dablam, to a camp at 4,800m. Subsequently we moved to a base camp at 5,300m near a dry lake in extensive moraine. This was toward the southwest face of Ombigaichang, our original objective, which we found to be in a dangerous condition. We then walked four hours from camp to reach the glacier and reconnoiter Peak 6,420m, which lies in the southeast corner of the glacial cirque, on the ridge east of Melanphulan.
On October 25 we left camp at 1 a.m. and crossed the glacier toward Peak 6,420m. There was fresh snow hiding crevasses, and the traverse was long and dangerous. We began climbing on the north face at about 5,700m, below enormous seracs, then headed up over windslab to the north-northeast ridge. It was cold and windy here, and although the difficulties were not great (snow, sometimes deep, to 70°), protection was sparse. We reached the short summit ridge and followed it pleasantly to the highest point, arriving at 11 a.m. We went back down the north-northeast ridge, with rappels from snow mushrooms, and continued toward Peak 5,985m so that we could rappel its rocky western flanks (three rappels). As we had no food left in base camp, we decided to continue down, taking a wrong turn and finally, at 9 p.m, arriving at the standard Ama Dablam base camp, where we spent the rest of the night. We then made the two-day descent to Lukla, again without help from porters.
[Editor’s note: Given the location of this peak, it seems unlikely that it has not been climbed in the past, probably from the south. The Spanish route on the north side may well be new. They have proposed the name Boltana, after Salamanca’s hometown.]
Angel Salamanca, Spain